IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education, immigration and employment. It is accepted by thousands of universities and organizations all over the world.

It can also be used by professionals such as medical professionals to study or practice in countries where English is the language of communication.

It is a test which assesses your ability to communicate in English. It is taken in over 117 countries, and depending on your needs, there are two versions: the Academic Version and the General Version.

Academic Version is designed to assess your ability to use the English language in an academic context and can be used as part of the admission requirements for enrolling in a university or other institution of higher education, such as a nursing course.

General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or employment, for immigration purposes.

It is accepted by almost all Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and more than 1800 US academic institutions. It is the only acceptable English test for immigration to Australian and also accepted by the UK and Canada.

IELTS Test Structure

The IELTS test comprises four modules, namely Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the Listening and Speaking modules. However, depending on whether the candidate is taking “Academic” or “General Training” versions of the test, they will take either the Reading or the Writing module respectively. After completing the Test and receiving their Band Scores for each of the four modules; the candidate will be issued a separate Certificate for each band score at a level of 6 bands and higher for General Training, and at a level of 7–9 bands and above for Academic.

Total Test Duration

Each module is 30 minutes long with an additional 15 minutes reading time before the test begins. The Listening, Reading and Writing modules are completed in one day with no break in between and one 10-minute break between each section. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test center. It is generally administered on the day of the test or on the following day. It’s result or Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.

Listening: 30 Minutes

Reading: 60 Minutes

Writing: 60 Minutes

Speaking: 11-14 Minutes


IELTS is scored on the nice band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. The band Your IELTS score is based on the scores you get for each of your 4 competencies – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each skill is scored on a band scale and the scores are in either whole or half Bands.

There are total nine bands which are described as follows

Expert User

Has full command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding. It is very hard to attain this score.

Very Good User

Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and in appropriacies. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

Good User

Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. It generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

Competent User

Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings. I can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in a familiar situation.

Modest User

Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. The candidate should be able to handle communications in his or her own feild.

Limited User

Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.

Extremely Limited User

Conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

Intermittent User

No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

Non User

Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.